Word is coming out today that the first two weeks of the NBA season are in danger of being cancelled if a deal is not met by this Monday, and considering that there is not an official meeting scheduled, the odds do not look good.
Said commissioner David Stern: “We were not able to make the progress that we hoped we could make and we were not able to continue the negotiations, by Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season,”
The league has also cancelled the rest of the exhibition schedule as they continue talks with the union. The two sides have been making progress lately, but there are still significant gaps that remain as far as the financial aspects are concerned.
Some of the sticking points revolve around the basketball related money and how it should be divided amongst the two sides. This past season, the players took home 57 percent and had submitted a proposal lowering the amount to 53 percent. The owners raised their offer to 47 percent up from their previous amount of 46 percent. With the sides so far a part, the difference was too much to overcome and essentially ended the talks for the time being.
Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were present for today’s meetings as part of the union’s executive committee.
The regular season was scheduled to open on November 1st. Considering the 1999 labor issue as a model, the sides would need to reach a deal at some point around the new year in order to squeeze in an abbreviated 50 game season.
The results, as we currently see them, are disastrous for an ageing team like the Boston Celtics. The Celtics cannot afford to play a season with games on back-to-back or back-to-back-to-back nights are the norm. The team is old, tired and just cannot simply recover in time to be productive in these short stretches. However, one thing working in the C’s favor is that they have been normally fast starters. Should they get out and win a bunch of games off the bat, this could set them up nicely and allow them to coast into the post season. With what could be a wild home-stretch, just getting in to the post season should be the goal.
With no meetings scheduled, it could be weeks before the two sides meet again and with each passing day it seems more and more likely that the season will be a lost one. Such a shame considering the high last season ended on and it effectively closes the window on our version of the new big three.
We’ll continue to report on the news as it comes out. Peace.